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This is a list for and about people who start having a panic attack every time they see a call coming through their phone. (Can you just text, please!? It's not the 1900s!) For those who, contrary to popular belief, love to socialize, but only with a select group of individuals. Behold – the introverts.

The entries in this list are from the Shy Introverts Instagram account, a digital diary of an introvert. It's a page with 220k followers that posts all kinds of relatable memes for lovers of solitude. Its bio reads: "Overthinker, awkward, weird, shy and anxious." Aren't we all, my fellow introverts, aren't we all.

#1

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️ ️~ lefty libra️ ~
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

nah uh get your ahh back here, im gonna keep saying it until you recognize it. look at me- LOOK AT ME- thank you. look my chicken nugget is a perfect circle 🤓☝🏻

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Is being shy the same as being an introvert? The author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain posits that it's not. "Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, and introversion is a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments," she writes.

She invites us to imagine them crossing in two axes. Introversion and extroversion are on the horizontal, and anxiousness and calm are on the vertical. "You end up with four quadrants of personality types: calm extroverts, anxious (or impulsive) extroverts, calm introverts, and anxious introverts," Cain writes.

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I know what Riley knows
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or leave with everything but the loaf of bread, your reason for going to the store in the first place.

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Society often conflates the two traits because it feels some bias against them. "The mental state of a shy extrovert sitting quietly in a business meeting may be very different from that of a calm introvert. The shy person is afraid to speak up, while the introvert is simply overstimulated. But to the outside world, the two appear to be the same, and neither type is welcome," Cain writes.

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On the other hand, shyness and introversion can also overlap. Susan Cain claims that many shy people are introverts, and many introverts are, in fact, shy. The reasons behind them can be innate – just something we're born with – or it becomes a behavior that we learn throughout life.

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"A shy person may become more introverted over time," Cain explains. "Since social life is painful, [they are] motivated to discover the pleasures of solitude and other minimally social environments. And an introvert may become shy after continually receiving the message that there’s something wrong with him."

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Rebelliousslug
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate that people use these pics to argue he’s too old for office. I’m decades younger and feel like I would do this 50% of the time I attempt it. Some of us are just clumsy!! This is not at all a commentary on his competence for office.

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But let's not forget that this is not the rule – shyness does not equal introversion. There are introverts who are non-anxious. Society's bias against this personality type assumes some stereotypes that may put introverts into certain boxes. "Anyone who has walked down the street deep in thought and been instructed by a stranger to smile – as if he were depressed, rather than mentally engaged – knows how maddening this is," Cain adds.

One of the most annoying traits that people attribute to introverts is submissiveness. That may impact introverted people negatively in work environments especially. "Studies show that we rank fast and frequent talkers as more competent, likable, and even smarter than slow ones," Susan Cain writes. "[In] a competitive culture that reveres alpha dogs, one-downmanship is probably the most damning trait of all."

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Susan Cain suggests that the traits that society perceives as weaknesses in shy and introverted people are actually something profound. "Neither type is perceived by society as alpha, and this gives both types the vision to see how alpha status is overrated and how our reverence for it blinds us to things that are good, smart, and wise," she explains

"For very different reasons, shy and introverted people might choose to spend their days in behind-the-scenes or “passive” pursuits like inventing, studying, or holding the hands of the dying. These are not alpha roles, but the people who play them are role models all the same."

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VonBlade
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sending them a text? You're a bit brave. Sit quietly and wait for them like any sane person.

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Hawkmoon
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's just ahead. It works a bit like platform 9 3/4, but you have to run really fast

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However, it’s also true that introverts can have difficulty dealing with loneliness. Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, says introverts might be at a bigger risk of loneliness because they set a very high bar for friendships. "[They] desire and require deep connections and would rather be lonely alone than in a crowd," Dembling writes. In reality, deep connections require time and effort, they're not something that we can establish on a whim.

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Emily White, the author of Lonely: Learning to Live With Solitude, talks about the loneliness loop."I was struck during my lonely years at how often I retreated from social interaction,” White said. “People would ask me out for dinner and I would say ‘no’, people would ask me out for drinks after work and I would say ‘no’."

"Social interactions began to make me anxious, and that was the case even though I desperately needed more sociability in my life. And I couldn't make sense of this paradox and I started blaming myself for it."

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BrownTabby
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My parents specifically worked with me on this because they knew I was shy and didn’t want this to happen to me. Came in useful last week when a teacher got my GRADE wrong (the AI software flagged me as “copying” from other students when I had just cited the same source as them.)

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"When you're lonely, you can start to feel as though you don't have what you need to bring to social situations, you don't feel safe in those situations," White continued. "So you start to retreat and the more you do that, the lonelier you become, and it becomes this vicious circle that you can't get out of." 

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Sophia Dembling shares some advice for fellow introverts who might want to get out of that loop. She recommends texting – it's low effort, not that daunting and surprisingly effective. For those who want to get off the couch more often, she advises to initiate hangouts and extend invitations to friends. That way, you won't be subjected to someone else's idea of fun and spend time with people that you want to spend time with.

#32

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Bylee Victoriqua Malox
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You've literally never seen me run faster than when I hear my mom say "Good afternoon, come on in"

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#1 Candevil Fan
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Listened to out of the rain and that first verse hit so hard I kept restarting just for that.

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shadowpaw rosecreekpack
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Especially when it's a phone call! You hear the music of incoming call and your just like "go bother the morning people" 😭😭😭😭😭😭😴😴😴😴😭😭😭😭

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#36

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Marla Singer
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Okay, these aren't really introvert memes. Do people even know what that means? These are mostly just about anxiety.

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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Rather, trying to figure out what aspects of my life to disclose to make this person not hate me in 2 minutes.

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#38

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JoMeBee
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That why I'm on BP at this moment. To distract the brain from the thinking...

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kath morgan
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like a nice afternoon, as long as it’s not too cold. Cheers 🍻

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JoMeBee
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's.called Brain Recalibration and it is essential to functionality

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Ubedhheij
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sure let's pretend even though I'm a kid I'm drained of energy every day from the start of waking up to being drive insane from my classmates, being drained even more, my sibling drives me insane too, draining my energy too. So yah, let's pretend D:<

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Just Me. A Humble Coffee Addict
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I feel this way, especially when it comes to writing my damn dissertation. I feel guilty when not working on it and when I start writing, my perfectionism and imposter syndrome kicks in and I remember why I wasn't working on it.

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Note: this post originally had 72 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.